Monday, April 12, 2021

62 weeks


Dear Sonzee, 

Another week has gone by,  Today marks 12 days into the month of April.  I have to ask why time seems to be picking up pace?  I am left to wonder if it felt this fast when you were alive because I feel like I can't remember.  They say grief can affect your memory, I sometimes have a challenge placing the blame on grief, but it is either that or early-onset dementia, and for now, grief seems to be a lesser evil of the two.  The thought of experiencing memory loss that would erase what few years I had with you makes me panic, so despite it being so awful, grief it is.

We finally got up to Bear Pines over the weekend.  It was beyond beautiful weather, still cold, and required warm blankets in the morning to sit outside. We took down the ice rink that turned out to be quite a failure but also a learning experience.  We are unsure the tarp is going to be usable next winter, but we shall see.  We uncovered the trampoline and got the net and everything all set up.  Everyone was jumping all weekend, even ema, that was probably funny if you saw me trying to do tricks.  Sadly the ninja course also met its demise since we never got it down before the snow began to fall, oops. Live and learn they say, and considering it was aba and my first home ownership during a real winter I have to say we did well overall.  The leaves on the trees are still absent in the front of the house, but the birds and squirrels were out and about more than the last time we were there, and as always the weekend was just what I needed.  We hung your wind chime in the backyard and now it feels like you are fully surrounding us there with the other wind chime on the porch.  

Yesterday was Laeya's first friend's bat-mitzvah.  Talk about feeling aged.  Her parents were the first friends' aba and I made in Phoenix.  I met this little girl as a brand new baby before we even knew we were pregnant with Laeya, and I still see her as this little baby, not the grown-up beautiful 12-year-old girl she has become.  I watched Laeya from a bench on the side take her first photo booth picture with 2 other friends and wanted to cry thinking about how in 9 months we will be celebrating her (without you there).  I sent the picture to Miss Jenn and all I could see when I looked at it was her and me circa 1996/1997 and it's just insane.  I can't lie, looking 9 months into the future, I feel like it is going to be a challenge to celebrate your sister while also honoring your absence, I am not looking forward to the struggle, but maybe beginning the planning so far in advance might soften the blow?

This week I am going on my first solo vacation in almost 2 years.  I have gone away very little since becoming a mom, but every time Elle or I have a baby you know that we travel to each other.  The last time I flew to her, you accompanied me.  It was the day after that trip that you and I took up residence at PCH for close to a month because we learned just how severe your GI issues really were.  I am so excited to be going on this trip, but in the back of my mind, I am panicking over how I am going to handle all of the emotions during it.  I guess that is just going to be a recurring theme in my life from now, happiness tinged with panic, sadness, and a hell of a lot of missing you and wishing things were just different.  

Anyway my love.  Be well. Be safe.  Be happy.

Until next time.

Love always, 
Ema 

The Mighty Contributor

Thursday, April 8, 2021

1 year 2 months



**Should have been written on April 3, 2021.**

Dear Sonzee, 

I am sorry I didn't write my monthly letter to you on the actual 3rd of this month.  It is hard to believe I am only 5 days behind because it feels like it has been so much longer.  Another month.  Another month has passed without your physical presence.  Another month further away from the close to 60 months you spent with us. How was it you didn't even spend 60 months with us? This last month has been a tough one. I am unsure why exactly that is, besides the fact that it is obvious you aren't coming back, but I knew that the moment you left.

This month I just felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. It happens on this journey.  The emotions definitely ebb and flow.  There have been split-second moments since you've been gone that an overwhelming sense of happiness overcomes me related to your siblings, but it just as quickly gets wiped away with the slap in the face that you aren't here.  Like when your brother won his state championship, what an amazing moment.  I have no doubt you watched and were somehow involved in assisting his team pull off that nail-biting final moment that gave them that well-deserved win. But, you weren't sitting there with us in your supportive sister hockey gear kicking your boots off 100 times.  We didn't have to take the elevator upstairs or find a seat close to the glass for you to watch. There was no parking in the handicap parking spot or the potential of being frustrated that they were all taken. There is just so much that still hurts about how life has changed.  There isn't one potential positive outlook that doesn't yield a reminder of how horrible it is that you aren't here, well except that you are not suffering (at least I hope you are not). 

I find myself wishing my brain and heart would just agree already on this situation.  After 14 months you would think it would have happened, but it hasn't and I am unsure it ever will.  My heart is forever altered by your death, and my brain rocks back and forth between your death being in your best interest and how could it even logically make sense that I had to bury a child regardless of the situation?! I guess I am just left waiting until the day it will all be revealed?!

This month has brought the fear of the "what-ifs" of death. Like, what if when I die we aren't reunited, or what if when I die I find out you have just been alone in some heavenly hospital with all of your same challenges but no one is taking care of you.  What if you aren't happy or are still suffering?  These are really scary, panic-inducing, painful thoughts, so I try to keep them buried deep or they fly at me like that sticky black goo stuff that weighs everything down that was in the Incredibles movie.  I have to deep breathe my way out of those times and remind myself that none of that can be true. But, I can admit it is really hard to win that inner battle.

I hope wherever you are it is better than my happiest dreams and nothing at all like my worst fears.  I hope you have found your forever peace and are surrounded by a plethora of love and smiles.  I hope you have a "step-in" ema or at least someone who is holding down the fort in that position for me until the day our souls meet again.

But until then my love, as always, know I love and miss you. Wishing you another month of health, happiness, and safety.

Until next time. 

Love always, 
Ema

The Mighty Contributor

Monday, April 5, 2021

61 weeks

Dear Sonzee, 

I am sorry I feel like I am so behind on my letters to you.  These multiple-day holidays can throw me completely off.  I at least was able to deliver your 1 year 2 months rock to you on Friday, but your 14-month letter is sadly still not completed. 

This weekend marked the completion of our second Passover without you.  I made it through yizkor.  It is really comical to me how sometimes the anticipation I feel regarding events or moments results in varied outcomes.  There are times when I am so worried and panicked I feel physically sick and it turns out that the fear was accurately foreshadowed, but then there are other times where afterward I can sigh in relief.  Yizkor turned out to be the latter.  That might be attributed to my impeccable timing of arrival to being within 5 minutes of it starting, standing in the back of the room, and purposely making close to zero eye contact with anyone.  I felt as if there were looks in my direction but focusing my eyes inside the yizkor pamphlet made it so it only existed in my imagination vs if it were reality.  Thankfully small talk afterward was limited and so the day just went on.

Meena had a sleepover after the holiday ended.  I should have known that despite sailing through what I anticipated to be one of the potentially hardest things I would have to do, I would get taken down by a song played in a Hannah Montana movie.  Do you remember your slide show for your first birthday?  Do you remember the song "The Climb" by Mylie Cyrus?  Well, it apparently is in that movie and my childish interest in a Disney movie turned out to stab me straight in the heart.  It was at the part she sang the very first line that I lost it standing behind the couch.  Meena saw me, as she turned around to ask me why I chose this song for your slide show.  I had my hands on the corners of my eyes and was simultaneously turning around to disappear.  Aba took over answering, or maybe he said he didn't know. I am really not sure because I was just concentrating on not losing all my marbles in front of her little friend and making it into the bathroom to completely fall apart.  Aba came to check on me but I sent him back to Laeya because I have had to hold her for hours after that song came on her Alexa without warning.  She also went down.  

Sometimes life itself just doesn't make sense.  I feel like since last night my emotions are on edge. I can feel it in the ever-present lump in my throat and the inability to get the tears from popping into my eyes as quickly as they are. I foresee a tough week ahead.  In the last 61 weeks, I have learned when it gets to this point it is only downhill and then it can take weeks to get back to whatever my new tolerable baseline actually is.  In short, it sucks, it will continue to suck, and maybe the suck will change a little, but overall, your absence just sucks.

This weekend we are going to sneak away to Bear Pines, and I have to say it is much needed.  I almost detoured driving on the 101 last Friday to the I-17 to go hide away by myself, but with it being the last days of Passover I decided it was probably best to stick around in Phoenix.  I am counting down the days until I can get up to the trees and hang a new wind chime that Miss Cori sent to us in honor of you a few months ago.  It is so perfect, but since its home is going to be in the backyard of Bear Pines, it needs to be hung.  She had the quote that we put on your gravestone engraved into the clear bottom portion. It brings a combo of tears and a smile to even write about it.  I am looking forward to getting lost in its sounds with my red mug of coffee and some great company.

Anyway my love. I miss you! I will write to you sooner rather than later!

Until next time. 

Love always, 
Ema


The Mighty Contributor